Posted: Friday, October 11th, 2013
While the Redwood City office is our official HQ, Education.com also employs a large team of freelance writers, designers, artists and photographers from all over the country. In our Freelancer Spotlight series, we pay tribute to our many beloved freelancers.
Halloween starts early at Education.com. While most people are figuring out where they’re going to watch fireworks for the 4th, we’re over here at our Redwood City HQ, helping Halloween spider decorations and werewolf masks happen in time for All Hallow’s Eve.
Our go-to illustrator for all things spooky is Corey Fields. Corey came to us about a year ago and quickly impressed us with his ability to create cute illustrations that burst at the seams with kid-appeal, but still retain a cool, stylish vibe. Once we found out about his love of monsters and science fiction, we couldn’t help handing over the bulk of our Halloween worksheet needs to him.
Though scary is his specialty, Corey is a versatile illustrator who can do it all: He’s amazing with faces, which helps him handle a lot of social studies content, and has a firm grasp on pop culture, which was most evident in the smash-hit Spy Math workbook. Since Halloween is fast approaching, we talked to Corey about his experiences at Education.com and his life as an illustrator.
Name: Corey Fields
I’m an: Illustrator
I live in: Lexington, Kentucky
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a (fill in the blank) when I grew up. Animator. I was obsessed with cartoons. I watched them every minute that I could. Saturday mornings were the best. I loved the hour-long block of Looney Tunes. Watching these shows made me fall in love with the idea of creating characters and bringing them to life through animation, but really, deep down, it all came back to creating the characters through drawing. Once I started drawing, I couldn’t stop.
How I became interested in illustration: There were a lot of factors. Some of the biggest influences in my life were my mom and dad. My dad would sketch from time to time when I was a kid and I was in awe of it all — I wanted so badly to draw as well as him. There was also my mom, who would always tell my pictures were amazing (even when they really weren’t). Another big factor was my kindergarten art teacher, Mrs. Scott. She loved art and helped ignite a passion for it in me as well. It’s stuck with me my entire life and eventually led to me going to art school and studying illustration.
My favorite thing to illustrate is: Creepy characters. Not necessarily always scary, but I love creating odd and funny characters that have, well, a great deal of character to them. I love starting off with an odd shape and seeing what kind of character I can create out of it. Scary ones are also fun to create. I always try to throw a little humor in there as well. I also love the other side of the spectrum and creating cute and funny little characters. Animals are always a blast to create.
My favorite children’s book: Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. That was the first book I checked out of the school library in elementary school and I would return it, only to check it out again that very same day. The fact that Harold was drawing everything made me want to draw even more. I also liked that Harold was using his imagination to create the world around him, and the simple, clean art style was also very appealing to me. All of those things really stuck with me and still influence my art today.
My favorite thing about working for Education.com is: My favorite things about working for Education.com are the editors and the freedom they give us to really see our visions through. They also know when to pull us in a little and get things back on track. The fact that there is actually a relationship besides just telling us what to draw and where is really refreshing for an artist.
Why I love illustration: I love illustration because it allows me to use my imagination. That’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do. You have a million ideas in your head and you get to create those ideas as a job. What’s not to love about that?
See more of Corey’s work for Education.com and some personal samples below, and see more of his own work at Corey Fields Art. Corey also has a Kickstarter for a card game that’s currently running — check it out here.